Krauth Tabbed Big 12 Newcomer of the Week
LAWRENCE, Kan. – The Big 12 Conference named junior transfer Ben Krauth the league’s Co-Newcomer of the Week Monday afternoon, for his performance Friday night at West Virginia, April 24.
“I am really proud of him,” head coach Ritch Price said. “He has made as much progress in his first year on campus as any junior college player we have ever had. He sets the tone for the weekend and gives us a legitimate chance to win on Friday night. The confidence level he brings in our dugout is that we can win every time he walks onto the field. He is that special.”
Krauth has emerged as one of the top Friday night starters in the league and continued to show his prowess at West Virginia (April 24) this past weekend. The southpaw pitched six and one-third innings against the Mountaineers, allowing one unearned run en route to striking out eight batters. The more stunning stat from that start was how the lefty controlled the running game of WVU by picking off three base runners, a first in the 13 years Price has been at the helm of the Jayhawks.
“When you combine the effectiveness of his pitching with his pickoff move,” Price said. “He becomes really dominant out there. He picked off three runners at West Virginia Friday night. After he picks the first guy off, it completely eliminates the running game in the other dugout. It has been remarkable to watch each week.”
In five starts in conference play, Krauth has struck out at least eight batters in four of them, allowing just five extra-base hits. His 2.00 ERA in league play ranks fifth while his 38 strikeouts ranks second. He averages 9.50 strikeouts per game in those five conference starts and in his last three Friday night outings, he has allowed just two earned runs in 21 and two-thirds innings pitched for a 0.83 ERA, all while striking out 26 batters.
“His changeup is by far the best pitch I have coached in my career,” Price added. “It has been remarkable to see him develop with the rest of the team as the season progresses.”
Krauth has made 11 starts on the hill for the Jayhawks and sits with a 6-3 record on the season. His 3.73 ERA ranks first on the team, along with his 68 strikeouts. The lefty sits among league leaders in wins (fifth with six), strikeouts (third with 68) and innings pitched (fourth with 72.1).
Krauth is the second Jayhawk to earn a weekly recognition by the league’s office this season. The last KU player to earn a weekly honor by the conference was freshman infielder Matt McLaughlin when he took home Newcomer of the Week April 6, 2015.
The Kansas baseball team is back in action Wednesday, April 29, as it hosts Arkansas-Pine Bluff for midweek action. Krauth returns to the bump Friday, May 1, when KU welcomes in Baylor for a Big 12 Conference weekend matchup at Hoglund Ballpark.
2015 Kansas Big 12 Players of the Week
- April 6 – Matt McLaughlin (Newcomer of the Week)
- April 27 – Ben Krauth (Newcomer of the Week)
KUAthletics.com: The official online source for Kansas Athletics, Williams Education Fund contributions, tickets, merchandise, multimedia, photos and much, much more.